THE LAW OF THE SABBATH
NON-JEWS frequently describe the law of the Sabbath as harsh and burdensome. They usually point to the innumerable minutiae which suggest rigidity and pettiness. But the impression given by an enumeration of the many Sabbath prohibitions is altogether misleading. In practice, the observance of the Sabbath was always a joyful experience which led the Jew to regard the Sabbath as the greatest of divine gifts to Israel. The Sabbath was a day of physical relaxation and spiritual stimulation. The devout Jew, although he observed all the minute details of the Sabbath law, was conscious solely of the cheerful aspects of the Sabbath. To him the Sabbath laws were not burdensome. On the contrary, so great and unique was the joy which he reaped from their observance that he found it necessary to explain his delightful experience in terms of possessing an additional soul on the Sabbath. The numerous laws of the Sabbath merely reflected the Jew's high regard for the Sabbath and his earnest desire to protect it by means of a strong legal fence.
The Sabbath law as taught in the Bible is vague. The Bible teaches that "in it thou shalt not do any manner of